Skincare for Cyclists: How to prevent skin damage from outdoor (& indoor) riding

Skincare for Cyclists: How to prevent skin damage from  outdoor (& indoor) riding - Samsara Cycle

Part of the joy of cycling is spending time in the great outdoors. With that though comes all the wear and tear of the natural elements on our skin. Especially our face. From wind burns and sunburns, dry, cracked and peeling skin, to crazy sunglass tans, a cyclist’s face is privy to some pretty legendary stuff. To help us address the most important and pressing questions when it comes to skincare as female cyclists, we called upon skin expert Angie Buonassisi. 

As an endurance athlete, cyclist, and also co-owner of a cosmetic clinic in our hometown of Vancouver, BC, Angie knows firsthand how challenging it is to keep your skin protected from the elements when training and playing outdoors. That’s what led her to develop a line of products that protect against the kinds of conditions cyclists ride up against. Enter, Lontreau. A skincare brand made for athletes. So without further ado, here is our Q&A with Lontreau founder Angie Buonassisi and her best tips to help protect your skin when going out (or staying in) for rides.

Q&A with Lontreau skincare founder, Angie Buonassisi

Samsara Cycle Lontreau Collab
The Velogrit Cycling Team in Samsara Elevated Collection custom kits.

"Preventing environmental/sun damage with skincare is far easier to do than correcting it."

Angie Buonassisi

Why does skincare matter when you're working out?

Skincare is essential for anyone who wants to be proactive about preventing the accelerated skin aging that we see in people who spend a lot of time training outdoors. Prevention has come a long way since the days of just sunscreen (which is still an absolute must) and innovative lines are using ingredients that help protect skin from environmental exposure beyond the sun.

What are unique considerations that cyclists have when it comes to their skin?

Road cyclists in particular are exposed not only to UVA/UVB from the sun, but also pollution and infrared. Think about all that polluted exhaust and dust getting all over your face (you can just feel that grit at the end of a long ride). We are just learning how pollution accelerates skin aging, and how infrared penetrates deeper into the skin than UV rays.

What about training indoors?

When working out indoors, skincare is important too! We are just learning more about the damaging effects of bluelight. Those hours of work at your computer – or zwift training on a screen can add up.

What products should we avoid?

Avoid products that will make your skin photosensitive or damage the skin barrier. Retinol challenges are trendy but should not be undertaken by anyone planning to get sun exposure. It was after my personal experience trying (and failing) to use retinol that inspired me to search out the most innovative retinol-like ingredients like the ones we use in Recovery Hero. With retinol use, my skin became too irritated to be outside, and most avid cyclists aren't going to miss a bike ride because of a skin care routine.

We use a retinol alternative which has similar anti-aging effects without causing skin irritation that often ensues with retinol use. We also recommend avoiding products with endocrine disruptors to help keep hormones healthy. 

What is your biggest skincare tip for female cyclists?

The name of the game is prevention. Preventing environmental/sun damage with skin care is far easier to do than correcting it, which requires a more extensive and expensive approach. I see a lot of damaged skin in our medical aesthetics clinic.

On the moisturizer front, avoid heavy creams that contain waxes and other fillers that are designed to make the skin feel moisturized at the time, but actually teach the skin to forget how to hydrate itself in the long run. In short, always apply an antioxidant and a SPF when you are heading on a ride to help protect your skin.

Bonus Tip: How to Prep & Cleanse your skin before/after a workout

Your exact skincare routine is really dependant on your individual skin type and level of training. But we asked Angie what her personal go-to routine was for pre and post workout skincare. 

What is your skincare routine?

I wash off makeup when I get really sweaty so that I don't rub makeup and sweat into my face with my towel (for example in a spin class). Rubbing that coarse towel on the skin is irritating, and even more so if the skin has makeup on it. I always use Game Changer from the Lontreau line on clean skin before I workout - indoor or outdoor. In addition to having the ingredients I want for prevention, it energizes the skin and improves the skin barrier, skin sensitivity, and hydration using our biomimetic barrier formula.

Thanks, Angie!

Check out Lontreau's full product line. Or, follow them on IG @lontreau!